Mumbai, Maharashtra, India -- 10 January 2008 | Permalink
5 pictures

Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is Mumbai's largest laundry. Each day, the dhobis wash literally tons of the city's dirty laundry. All the washing is done by hand, with the laundrymen standing ankle-deep in open stone troughs filled with soapy water. Estimates of the number of dhobis involved vary, but there are more than a thousand washing troughs, and the laundry needs to be not merely washed but also hung out to dry, ironed, folded and finally returned to wherever it came from. An often-quoted figure of 5,000 people involved either directly or indirectly in the work doesn't sound implausible.